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6 Ways to Just Get Things Done Already

6 Ways to Just Get Things Done Already

Is procrastination killing your dreams and sucking the life out of you every day? Wouldn’t it feel great to just get off your butt and start moving your life forward again? You’ve probably got many tasks that need to be done, and they wouldn’t take nearly as long to accomplish as you think. Below are six different strategies you can use to get out of a rut and get things done already.

1. Stop Chasing Other People’s Goals

One of the biggest mistakes we make when setting our goals and making to-do lists is that we have many goals that are not really our own. We set goals that other people think are important, but we don’t really want to do them ourselves. Start there! Eliminate other people’s goals and think about the things that are truly important to you. You’ll have much more motivation and drive to accomplish goals you thought of yourself and that would directly benefit your life.

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2. Set a To-Do Day

Have weeks ever gone by with a few simple tasks never getting done? Perhaps you need to just make doing those “important yet not urgent” tasks a part of your weekly routine. Set a day of the week to get things done you’ve been putting off. If you know that you’ll apply for your online MBA and write a letter to your grandmother on Thursday, you can happily put it off until Thursday comes. Then, make all the things on your to-do list your priority. You’ll get things done much more consistently if you focus on them once a week.

3. Do the Easiest Thing First

If you’re really having a hard time getting started and feel a bit overwhelmed, just pick the easiest thing on your to-do list and do it immediately. Then choose the next easiest thing and do that right away. The idea here is to build momentum with small wins before tackling the bigger projects.

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4. Do the Most Important Thing First

If you could only accomplish one thing today from your to-do list, what would it be? What is the most important task on your list? Keep in mind that the most urgent task is rarely the most important one. If you can learn to focus on the tasks that will produce the greatest results, then you’ll be well on your way to living a happier, less stressful and more successful life.

5. Set Up Distraction Barriers for Yourself

One of the main reasons we don’t get things done is distraction. Social media is always just a smartphone-click away, and time-wasting websites are the first thing we want to do whenever we sit down to work on our computers. Set up simple website blocking extensions on your browser and hide your social media apps on your smartphone or delete them altogether. If you go a month without using these time-wasting sites, you’ll realize how little you need them and how much time you spend on them when you could be getting things done.

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6. Give Yourself Milestone Rewards

One easy way to motivate yourself to get things done is to make your everyday activities into rewards. Rather than watching Netflix or play a game whenever you want, force yourself to treat these as incentives for yourself. When you get one thing done on your to-do list, reward yourself with a set amount of play time. When the time’s up, you’re done—until you cross another item off your list.

It’s so easy to procrastinate on things, even for weeks at a time. Aren’t you getting sick of putting them off for so long? It can’t be helping your self-esteem, so now’s the time to turn things around. Take one of these six strategies above – whichever one seems the easiest – and take action on it immediately!

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Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Dixie Somers

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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